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West Virginia Supreme Court affirms ruling regarding Antero

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Supreme Court has affirmed a Tyler County decision in favor of Antero Resources Corp.

The court Thursday issued its decision on an appeal of a declatory judgment by the EQT Production Co. that sued Antero in Tyler County over oil and gas mineral rights leases. Judge Jeffrey Cramer in Tyler County ruled the Antero lease takes priority over the EQT lease for the rights on property owned by Larry W. Lemasters and Linda J. Lemasters.

No error was made by the lower court in granting summary judgment in favor of Antero, the Supreme Court said in the opinion delivered by Justice Margaret Workman.

An agreement with EQT expired Dec. 13, 2016, and an agreement with Antero was effective on Dec. 14. Where multiple leases, such as an oil and gas base lease and a top lease, exist on the same property, the provisions of the West Virginia Recording Act have priority, the opinion said.

“Based upon a straight-forward application of the Recording Act, we conclude that the circuit court did not err in declaring that the EQT Base Lease and Base Lease Amendment are subject to the Antero Top Lease, and the Antero Top Lease is the valid and existing oil and gas lease covering the subject property,” the opinion said.

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